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Release No: 184-98
July 31, 1998

Remote Control Submarine Races

The inaugural International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition will be held from August 1-3 at the Naval Coastal Systems Station in Panama City, Fla. The event is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicles System International (AUVSI).

Competing in this first annual event are teams from the University of Florida, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University. Officials expect "reconnaissance" teams from universities around the world to "scout" this first-ever event in preparation for next year's competition.

The goal of the competition is to advance the technology of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) by challenging the next generation of engineers to perform a real-world mission and not just a robotic task. Teams are required to design and build a completely autonomous underwater system that will traverse a body of water, navigate a series of gates, return to a designated recovery zone and determine the maximum depth of the recovery zone. The AUV must perform all tasks autonomously, with no control, guidance, or communication from a person or from any off-board computer.

Judges for the contest are: Rear Adm. Paul G. Gaffney, chief of Naval Research; Craig Dorman (Rear Adm., USN, Ret.); John Bunce from the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, Doug Todoroff and Tom Curtin from ONR, and Barry Dillon, from Coastal Systems Station.

Media representatives interested in attending the competition may contact Loretta De Sio, at ONR Public Affairs Office, at (703) 696-5032 or Ken Hoffman, Naval Coastal Systems Station Public Affairs Office, at (850) 235-5107. Additional information on the competition may be found at the AUVSI World Wide Web site at http://www.auvsi.org/auvsicc/auvcomp.htm

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